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Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne by Grant…
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Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne (edition 2012)

by Grant Morrison, Various (Illustrator)

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126697,109 (3.33)2
Member:seandavidross
Title:Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne
Authors:Grant Morrison
Other authors:Various (Illustrator)
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Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne by Grant Morrison

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Time travel plus Batman should equal awesome in my book. They're two of my favourite tastes; surely they should taste great together? But I was left kind of cold by this tale of Bruce Wayne clawing his way blindly back to contemporary Gotham through various ages. I read it in the prescribed context - after Batman & Robin volumes one and two, and Time and the Batman - but the larger story Bruce's brief adventures are meant to convey seemed rather dull. Indeed, I didn't expect there to be a larger story, since Batman has lost his memories throughout his journey. Well, mostly lost - it's Hollywood style amnesia.

That said, I liked the (oddly caucasian) early human, Pilgrim witch hunter and old west incarnations, though they had their flaws too: witch hunter Batman was easy to confuse with his rival in their identical Pilgrim outfits, and old west Batman's only major contribution was to be impossibly cool by outdrawing gunfighters using only batarangs. The fragmented story these parts were supposed to draw together got entirely in the way of any kind of interesting vignette of Bruce Wayne dealing with another era: he never does any detection (except as a witch hunter) and seems like a ghost haunting his own story. The tension supposedly set up by the threat he represents - talked about constantly by Batman's modern friends in flash forwards - never feels real, either, so its resolution comes as a let down rather than a pay off.

The Return of Bruce Wayne is some fun, perhaps, and it's not not awful. I can't help but feel that maybe I'm missing something, though, and given my back catalogue of Elseworlds titles has much better versions of pirate and noir Batmen, it's hard not to see this as a lost opportunity. ( )
  labcoatman | Feb 6, 2014 |
I probably would have enjoyed this more if I'd read all the stuff that came before. Definitely not for casual readers. ( )
  ptdilloway | Nov 21, 2013 |
I have read and enjoyed many comics written by Grant Morrison, and then I have read others that struck me as a kind of low-grade metaphysical action writing: a spew of cultural information thrown at the rough grid that is the basic foundation of comics, with the expectation that readers would make sense of it, and credit him with the ability to construct disparate connections between far-flung subjects.

This book fits fully into the latter group. For all the strengths of such Morrison books as We3, his Animal Man writing, his run on the X-Men, his excellent Superman -- well, this collection of stories about Bruce Wayne's return from the depths of time is perhaps the strongest evidence of what could be called the "deceitful claptrap" thread running through other of his work.

On the surface, the idea is strong: Batman is the least super-powered, the least supernatural, of superheroes in the DC pantheon. To have him barrel through time, from prehistoric mythology through sea-faring pirates and Salem-era witchcraft, is to have a study in contrasts. Morrison knows what he's doing. He knows that Batman is a myth of a man, and that no myth as strong as his could grow to the fore without slowly tossing seeds back in the timeline -- all myths build on pre-existing myths, and the stronger the new myth the more likely the older ones are to come to appear less as precedent and more as prefiguring.

But the thesis is where the book stops being enjoyable. Beyond that, it is a series of pastiche renderings of various period cliches, each garbled just enough to appear mysterious, but in truth the mystery is really just sloppiness benefiting from a very strong brain and some accomplished illustrating partners.

I always thought Morrison's best work was his work-for-hire, when he had to limit his fathomless penchant for mythmaking to the contours of a pre-existing character. It was true of his X-Men, and of his Superman, and quite recently of his Batman, but this time around his worst inclinations got the better of him.
  Disquiet | Mar 30, 2013 |
Let's see, where should I start. There was a lot going on with this graphic novel. And I mean a lot. I haven't read many Batman comics so that may be why I was confused as hell for a good chunk of the book. By the time I was starting to understand what was happening, the book was almost over. A little background information or maybe a recap of the previous volume would have been helpful.

Besides that it was actually quite interesting. The time travelling thing was really complicated, but I loved seeing Batman travel through different time periods. He went from caveman to priest to pirate to cowboy all in one book.

I also liked seeing the Justice League involved in this book. In most Batman books, Bruce Wayne works alone or with Robin, but here you can see there are other people willing to help him out. The Justice League appears every once in a while in the book, but not so often that it feels more like reading a Justice League comic. Most of the plot is still centered around Batman.

I liked the artwork in this. Sometimes super hero comics don't have great artwork, but this one's was pretty good. Especially because the illustrator can draw so many different settings and a different Batman to go with each one.

By the ending I was still a little confused, but I got the gist of the plot. And the ending itself was great. A little but expected, but it's how I would have wanted it to end. ( )
  MichelleL_15 | Jul 17, 2012 |
it was a good thing to read when you have the spare time. the thing that si very good is that it is not childish. (: (: (: (:
  SMG-COreilly | Mar 7, 2011 |
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Epigraph
God be good to the man in black
Who guards the door and keeps that key.
But spare me his dread return
And what must come next...
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After being blasted back in time, Batman awakens with no memory of who he is and embarks on a journey through time fighting evil.

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